Swimming During Your Period Is Both Safe and Recommended

No Reason to Stay off the Beach or out of the Pool

woman floating on her back, swimming in ocean
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Have you been told it is not safe to swim during your period? It's good that you are questioning it. Swimming is absolutely fine for you during your menstrual period.

You Can Swim During Your Period

In fact, while you are menstruating you can pretty much do anything that you do at all other times of the month. And yes, that includes all activities from swimming to sex.

Most of the information that you find recommending restricting your physical activity during your period is based on cultural beliefs and taboos about menstruation.

Being in the water while you are menstruating does not put you at any increased risk of infection. Also, there are no changes in your body during your period that would make you more susceptible to injury while swimming.

Another common fear about swimming in the ocean during your period is the thought that menstrual blood will attract sharks. Although potentially a compelling reason to pass up on a swim, the consensus among shark experts is that menstruating women do not attract sharks.

The most important thing to consider when swimming with your period is to be sure that you have adequate protection to control your bleeding.

Stop The Flow

Your best choice for menstrual products for swimming is either a tampon or a menstrual cup. Pads don't work because they can't absorb your menstrual flow once they get wet. You can end up with visible stains on your swimwear, and some of your flow will leak into the water.

When using a tampon for swimming, you may need one of higher absorbency. Some water will be absorbed by the tampon, making it swell a little and have less absorbency for your flow. You may find that you have to change your tampon more frequently. Bring extra along so you can change after your swim. As always, do not wear a tampon for more than eight hours as that increases the risk of toxic shock syndrome.

If you are comfortable using a menstrual cup, this is an excellent alternative because it does not absorb any water that may enter your vagina.

Benefits Of Swimming During Your Period

Not only is it safe to go swimming during your period, but it is also a good idea. Staying active has been shown to help ease the cramping and fatigue that some women experience during their monthly period.

Swimming, in particular, can be very helpful. Since your body is buoyant in the water, you may not notice the discomfort of the bloating that you may have during your period. Gentle nonswimming aquatic exercise has also been shown to be very helpful in managing painful periods.

Swimming or other aquatic exercises might be a great way to get pain and stress relief during your period. Even if you are simply wading at the beach, don’t let your period stop you from enjoying a nice day in the sun. Just don’t forget to pack a few extra tampons along with your sunscreen.

From competitive swimming to a soak in a hot tub, it is fine to be in the water during your period. Not only is it perfectly safe it can be therapeutic as well.

Source:

Saeideh R. The Effect of Aquatic Exercise on Primary Dysmenorrhea in NonAthlete Girls. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2013; 18(5):38-383.

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